Driving with Jens: Christmas time is tempting for thieves

Try to keep your vehicle tidy and conceal any and all valuables

With the Christmas season comes Christmas shopping and Christmas parcels. Inevitably we will hear stories of Christmas packages being taken from vehicles. It would really affect your Christmas spirit if that happens to you.

Whitehorse Property Crime is a popular Facebook page that regularly reports items stolen from vehicles or evidence that someone had tried to get in a vehicle.

I still see Facebook posts by friends and acquaintances reporting that their vehicle was broken into and their wallet or laptop was stolen. I immediately get mad at the idea people, taking things that don’t belong to them. Another part of my wonders why the person who got robbed was so reckless as to leave valuables in their vehicle.

If you practice target hardening you will give thieves much less of a chance to score you stuff.

Always try to park in a busy, well-lit area, and avoid concealment by larger vehicles, fences, or foliage. The greater the chances are that someone might see a crime in progress, the lower the chances are that the potential thief will attempt it.

Lock your doors and close the windows, even when you’re only going to be away from your vehicle for a few minutes. While this sounds like a no-brainer, it’s reported that up to a quarter of vehicle thefts are from unlocked vehicles. Police call it car shopping when offenders walk around checking vehicles to see if they are unlocked and easy prey.

Try to keep your vehicle tidy and conceal any and all valuables. You will never know what a potential thief will see as valuable so remove all bags, boxes, or other containers that thieves may see as hiding something.

Get in the habit of putting valuables and shopping bags in the trunk or with most SUV-type vehicles under a retractable cover in the back. This is especially true during the holidays. Take the extra few minutes to conceal all your packages.

It’s not always just large items thieves are looking for. Change in the cup holder is temping. Thieves also look for suction cup marks on your windshield that tell them you may have a navigation unit in the glove box. Power cords left plugged in and visible can tell thieves you may have an iPod in the vehicle.

Before leaving your vehicle get in the habit of looking in the window for things that would be potential bait for thieves. Make sure there is nothing visible that would be tempting for would be thieves. Yes, it may take an extra 30 seconds but it’s better than having your window broken and stuff taken.

Most stolen items from vehicles are: smartphones, personal electronics, laptops, iPods, GPS devices, work tools, credit cards and identification, stereo equipment, cash and change, car parts and accessories, garage door openers, sunglasses, and keys.

Like your vehicle, some valuables like laptops can also be protected with tracking software such as Lo-Jack or something similar. That way if it is taken you may be able to track it. There are other affordable tracking devices available today. Tile offers products as well.

If you’re going to engrave something identifiable on your valuables consider engraving your drivers license number. That way police can immediately determine who the item belongs to if they come across it.

At your home motion sensor lighting near your vehicle can also act as a deterrent. Ring, the people who make video doorbells also have flood light camera that will notify your smartphone if there is motion near your vehicle. You can then look at live HD video right on your smart phone, turn on lights, and even set off an alarm. You can also have these units record and save the video online.

If you come out to find your vehicle broken into, don’t touch anything or go rummaging around inside your vehicle. Call the RCMP and report it first. Depending on the circumstances they may or may not attend the scene, but will also start a case with a file number. Ask for the file number so your can give it to your insurance company.

If you don’t have an alarm system, get one. The noise alone may be enough to scare away an inexperienced thief and prevent the break-in. Factory-option alarm systems are generally best, but a properly installed aftermarket system can provide just as much safety.

Having the packages you just picked up at the post office or the ones you just purchased taken by thieves is not something you want to experience. It could ruin your Christmas. Take the time to secure your vehicle.

Catch Driving, with Jens on CHON FM Thursdays at 8:15. If you have any questions or comments you can reach out to Jens Nielsen at drivingwithjens@gmail.com, Facebook or Twitter: @drivingwithjens

Driving With Jens

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Hanley speak during a COVID-19 update press conference in Whitehorse on July 29. Silver urged “kindness and patience” during the weekly COVID-19 update on Oct. 21, after RCMP said they are investigating an act of vandalism against American travellers in Haines Junction.
(Alistair Maitland Photography file)
COVID-19 update urges “kindness and patience” for travellers transiting through the territory

“We need to support each other through these challenging times”

Whitehorse Correctional Centre officials have replied to a petition by inmate Charabelle Silverfox, who alleges she’s being kept in conditions mirroring separate confinement, arguing that her placement isn’t nearly as restrictive as claimed. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Inmate not being kept in restrictive confinement, WCC argues in response to petition

Whitehorse Correctional Centre (WCC) officials have replied to a petition by an… Continue reading

wyatt
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Oct. 23, 2020

Kwanlin Dün First Nation chief Doris Bill holds up a signed copy of the KDFN <em>Lands Act</em> agreement during an announcement at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse on Oct. 20. Under the new act, called Nan kay sháwthän Däk’anúta ch’e (We all look after our land) in Southern Tutchone, KDFN will be able to allot citizens land to build their own houses on, for example, or to use for traditional activities. The First Nation will also be able to enforce laws around things like land access and littering. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s Lands Act comes into force

The act gives the First Nation the authority to manage, protect and enforce laws on its settlement lands

Two doctors in Watson Lake say they are at risk of losing their housing due to a Yukon Housing Corporation policy that only allows one pet per family. (Wikimedia Commons)
Healthcare workers in Watson Lake say housing pet policy could force them to leave

The Yukon Housing Corporation has threatened evictions for having more than one pet

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Irony versus Climate

Lately it seems like Irony has taken over as Editor-in-Chief at media… Continue reading

Evan Lafreniere races downhill during the U Kon Echelon Halloweeny Cross-Country Race on Oct. 16. (Inara Barker/Submitted)
Costumed bike race marks end of season

The U Kon Echelon Bike Club hosted its final race of the… Continue reading

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee, right, before question period at the Yukon legislative assembly in Whitehorse on March 7, 2019. The Yukon government announced Oct. 19 it has increased the honoraria rates for school council members. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Honoraria increased for school council members

Members of school councils throughout the territory could soon receive an increased… Continue reading

Triple J’s Canna Space in Whitehorse on April 17, 2019, opens their first container of product. Two years after Canada legalized the sale of cannabis, Yukon leads the country in per capita legal sales. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon leads Canadian cannabis sales two years after legalization

Private retailers still asking for changes that would allow online sales

A sign greets guests near the entrance of the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse on June 11. The city announced Oct. 16 it was moving into the next part of its phased reopening plan with spectator seating areas open at a reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CGC reopening continues

Limited spectator seating now available

During Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 19 meeting, planning manager Mélodie Simard brought forward a recommendation that a proposed Official Community Plan amendment move forward that would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend, currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
More development in Whistle Bend contemplated

OCP change would be the first of several steps to develop future area

asdf
EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

Most Read